Getting out of bed at the speed of an 80 year old. Stiff, sore, creaking and cracking. Groaning through the motions of sitting up and eventually standing. Lumbering to the bathroom and in the half second before the bathroom light flicks on. I catch a glimpse of a figure. One that seemed out of place, uninvited and distinctively ape ish. He had rounded shoulders, a furrowed brow, a hunched back and a gut that resembled a pony keg.
Who invited this mouth breathing knuckle dragger?
Oh damn, that’s me!
Staring at the face in the mirror, cradling my gut like a football and making my belly button say hello. I decided it was time to explore the idea of what it would be like to have abs.
Growing up, I was active. A Jock you could say. I played Baseball and Basketball from age 10 on, Football and Rugby through High school. I’ve never been on the thinner side of thick though. However I knew what I had to do to drain that pony keg. But I wasn’t 100% on where to start.
Through a lot of research and trial and error. I found the combination of nutrition and exercise that is best for me and my goals. I’m still working on the abs, but they are coming along. Experiment and embrace variety to find your mix.
In my experience it’s best to keep things simple. Here are 3 basic principals for a healthier lifestyle.
You’re brewing. Like a Folgers commercial, you’re waking up, the aroma of change is in the air. It feels electric, but you don’t want to get out of the safe, warm confines of your bed just yet. The choices you are about to make are incredible, exhilarating and scary. You’re about to mold yourself physically and mentally, in an effort to positively change your life.
Before the blood pumps, the sweat pours and your muscles inflate. Visualize where you want to be, how you want to look and how you want to think.
You know that little voice in your head. The one that seems to want to give up or procrastinate on everything?
Yeah that little A-hole is a bully. It wants to trick you.
I developed a big brother voice to combat this little mental assassin. One that steps in, when, that Napoleon complex having gremlin starts chirping. Like a big brother, it disintegrates that whiny little so and so, with an over powering reminder of my ability to endure.
Physically reshaping yourself comes with the task of simultaneously reshaping your thought process. Know that you’re going to fail from time to time. That’s the fun, compete with yourself. Embrace the struggle, let it become your biggest motivator.
Build consistency on the foundation of self imposed mental and physical accountability.
Calorie counters are a great way to educate yourself on nutrition. You can use it as a tool to limit your intake. Or, you can go a step further and read through each food choice and see its nutritional value. After using an app like this you might start to notice a natural gravitational pull towards healthier choices. You will most definitely notice a drastic difference in the make up of your grocery list.
So start by counting calories. There are plenty of apps out there that can help with this. I used MyFitnessPal – Calorie counter. You can find it in the Google Play store and the App store. It’s great, it’s free, has an easy to use interface, the variety of foods that you can enter into its database is, extensive and you can pair it with your daily work out routines. It will tell you if you are over or under your daily calorie count.
Working out (Body weight):
Work out plans are not made equal for everyone so before you start, make sure to discuss what you plan to do, with your doctor. No matter what plan you choose, just make sure you do your research.
I read a lot of articles. Listened to a lot of pod casts. Watched a lot of videos and tried a couple different training apps before I settled on what I utilize.
Initially I thought lifting weights was the way to go. But my life style had become so sedentary, the soreness the day after was unbearable. I was only using 20 lbs dumbbells!!!
This was a problem…
I needed to become more functionally fit. I needed to be able to control my own body weight before graduating to free weights.
I went back to the drawing board. Started looking into plyometrics and body weight work outs. An app called “Spartan Workout” has become my go to for a challenging body weight routine. It’s a full 30-40 minute interval workout and it’s free.
The routine is 9 different body weight exercises. Each exercise has a duration of 30 to 90 seconds. A 30 second break between each exercise and a 1 minute break between each of the 3 rounds. You can also set the duration of the exercise and rest periods if you need to. Even on beginner settings it will have you sweating and pushing pretty hard.
You can find it in the app store on iphone. Unfortunately it is not on Android. There are other “free” body weight workout apps on the Google play store. I just haven’t tried them, so I can’t recommend one at the moment. I do plan on trying some out and will add any worth recommending.
Starting out is tough and overwhelming. If you stick to the 3 principals we just discussed and build on the momentum of consistency. Your progress will amaze you. So keep your mind right, your fuel balanced and your workouts functional.
Here are the places I found, use and revisit regularly for motivation and practical, tangible knowledge…
Changing my thought process. I listened to a lot of “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast. There are plenty of insightful and educational episodes that can help you build the mindset you need to change your life.
As mentioned before I primarily use the “Spartan Workout” app from the app store. This is a great place to start for weight loss, strength and functional fitness. It’s a 30-40 minute body weight work out routine. It’s great for beginners and it’s free.
I spend hours on you tube watching Athlean-X. In my opinion Jeff Cavaliere sets the bar for content coming from a personal trainer. His videos are practical, effective, educational and most importantly you can put into practice anything he discusses and see and feel the results quickly.
Calorie Counting with “Myfitnesspall – Calorie Counter”. It’s a great way to educate yourself on nutrition and expose the areas where you need to improve. With an extensive database and the ability to track your daily workout routines, it’s amazing and it’s free.